Art Periods and Movements. Summary.Table 1

Summary Art Periods & Movements

From Prehistoric to Byzantine Empire.





Stone Age30,000 –25,000 B.C –      Cave painting.

–      Fertility goddesses.

–      Megalithic structures

–      Lascaux Cave painting.

–      Woman of Willendorf.

–      Stonehenge.

–      Ice Age ends       10,000–8,000 B.C.

–        New Stone Age & first permanent   settlements 8000–2500 B.C.

Paleolithic   30,000   to 10,000 B.C.

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–      Art was portable and stationary.-      Stone Venus.      –     Representation   of animals in painting which are vividly realistic.

–        Human figure is completely   absent in painting or represented with simple stroke form like a stick .

Important cave painting examples are located in:France: Chauvet, Cosquer, Cussac, Font-de-Gaume,   Lascaux, Les Combarelles, Les Trois-Freres, Niaux, and Rouffignac.Spain: Altamira. –      Strictly hunter-gatherers.

–       Use of rituals and dances to promote excellent climate.

Mesolithic  10.000-8000 B.C. –      Utilitarian pottery not for visual pleasure.-       Carvings of   obsidian and other objects jagged edges.

–      Human figures in caves painting highly stylized.

–      Cave painting in Europe, South Africa and east of Spain.

–      Beginning of settled and agricultural communities

–      Domestication of animals.

Neolithic 8000-3000 BC.

 – Construction of megaliths

 – Stylized pictographs.

The female fertility takes a role starring as well as the goddess mother.

The figurines are now clay and baked.

–      The glaciers withdrawal providing more land an climate stabilization.

–      Humans were settling in agrarian societies.





Prehistoric Art. Cooper, Bronze   & Iron Ages.

Cooper Age:

–      Was one of the first metal using by mans in its natural   state due to not know how to melted.







Bronze Ages. 2500-800 B.C.

–      Intensification of trades.

–      Labor specialization.

–      Social differentiation.


Iron   Ages 2000-1500 B.C.

–  The last period of prehistory prior to the beginning of the story with the invention of writing.

–   Development of the artistic skills due to better use of time when the man have improve tools elaborated with iron.

–    Developing of the military technology and strong weapons.

Cooper age:

– Elaboration of cuneiform glass and ceramic rope   pottery.

– Spirals of gold.

–  Abundant so-called “Palmela” arrows.

–  Triangular daggers in copper.

–   Perforated plates.


                                                         Bronze Age mayor work:

–        The petro glyphs, paint on smaller objects,   sculptures and steles, make frequent use of ornament and artistic images for   decoration of tools and household goods.


Iron Ages

–  Iron is a good material for the manufacture   of saws, axes, adzes and nails.

–  Nordic petro glyphs.



Cooper   age:

–        The man perfected the techniques of pottery   allowing to experiment with metallurgical processes.

–      Most manufactured items were tools.





 Bronze   Age:

–        Spread of agriculture and animal husbandry.

–        Mastery of metal developing new alloys.



Iron Ages:

–  Assyria originate and impressive military technology.

–  The iron replaced bronze as the material of manufacture of instruments and weapons.

– Celtic and Nordic people star using iron for tools & weapons.

Minoan Culture –      Pacific inclines.

–      Decoration with nature motive.

–      Proportional human body representation.

–   Politeist religion. Matriarcal sociaty.

–    Found for Physical activities.

–   Important trades activities.

–      Taurocatapsia representation in painting & relieves.

–      Goddess of serpents.

–      Ostentatious jewelry. Skilled goldsmith.

 – Dancing woman widely represented in art.

– Dolphins fresco at the Quing chamber’s.

Minoan historical events:-Development as a Matriarchal society.-      Foundation of the first palaces.

–      Sudden disappearance due to conquests and natural disasters.

Mesopotamian3500–539   B.C.

Sumerian Culture:



Babylonian Culture:


Assyrian Culture:

Sumerian Culture:

–      The most ancient civilization in this region with clay figurine representation, cuneiform tablets and seals.



Babylonian Culture:

–   Glazed brick decoration.

–   cuneiform writing tables and  seals.

–  Hammurabi’s code of laws.

– Gilgamesh Epic representation in Art pieces.



Assyrian Culture:

–      Warrior people with art and narration in stone relief   predominant Lion representation and winged Sphinxes.


–      Ubaid Art.

–      Clay feminine figurines,

–      Standard of Ur.


–      Gate of Ishtar.

–      Diorite Stele of Hammurabi’s Code.

–      Gilgamesh’s Epic flood tablet story.


Nimrud or Jursabad doors with winged Sphinxes

The construction of Ziggurats.


–      Invention of writing around 3400 B.C.

–      The dynasty of Sargon between (2300 – 2223 BC) build   ziggurats and clay seals.

–      Rule of Naramsin 2230 BC.


–      Hammurabi writes his code of laws  1780 B.C.

–      Abraham founds monotheism.

–      King Nebuchadnezzar palace is builder in Babylon.


About   884 BC Assyria gets at the head of the power in a vast region under Ashur-Nassir-Pal   reign.








Persian   Culture

Aqueménida Period (550-330) B.C.-     Monumental style with sculptures in relief attached to architectural joints with profuse but simple decoration.

–     Metalwork representation evading the ambiguous, obscure or clumsy. Same principal of simplicity apply to painting.

–     Use of low reliefs glazed brick from Babylon;s technique.

– Simplicity of the messages avoiding complications, the dark or confuse.



Sassanid  Period

–       Architectural decorations in carved stone, walls covered   with stucco decorated with vivid and contrasting colors.

–       Attractive and deeply expressive with refined decoration, emotional & imaginative.

–       Representation of abstract ideas without violating the terms of the visual aspects.



Islamic   Period

–  Stoning   architecture.

–  Calligraphy & decoration of manuscripts.

–   Decoration of the  walls with stucco and covered with figurative colored and detailed paints.

Aqueménida   Period

–  Glazed brick are use to decorated in Darius palace.

–  Palace of Persepolis.

–  Relief on the palace walls representing the power of rulers.

–  Important metalwork in weapons decorations.




Sassanid  Period.

–             Spectacular glaze decorations.

–             Detailed metal work in daily used objects and weapons.

–             Drapery and jewelry mastery.





–   Islamic architecture.

–    Calligraphy and decoration of manuscript.

–    Handmade Persian rugs.

–    Pottery with influence of Chinese ceramic.

–     Metalwork with arabesques.

–             During the reign of Cyrus the Great, Persia expands to the West and   Northwest beyond the borders of what is today Iran to include Babylonia, some   of the Aegean Islands and Anatolia.-      Dario’s Government (522 to 486 BC) .The rule of Darius covers many cultures.

He and his son used foreign artists to promote and strengthenits  image of power.




Sassanid Period

– Greatest achievements of Persian culture, the last   great Iranian Empire before the Islamic conquest of Persia.

– The conquest of Persia by Alexander the great began the spread of Hellenistic art into Western Asia.





Islamic Period

–  The adoption of the Islam as a religion throughout the territory resulted in important changes in the Persian culture.

–  The Persians became the main instrument of the expansion of Islam in   most of the rest of the Asian territory.

Egyptian 3100 –30   B.C. – Art with an afterlife focus with destination to the   Church:- Pyramids and tomb painting.- Reverence to pharaohs.- The artist is more a craftsman, completely anonymous.- Hieratic & utilitarian sculptures.

– The image carries a symbolism and a message; it is not with the intention of showing beauty.

– The figures show position of   frontality; is a fixed concept which is repeated.

– Imhotep,

– Step Pyramid

– The great pyramid of Giza, built by King Cheops about 4,500.-

Bust of Nefertiti,

–  Mask of Tutankhamen.

–  Sculpture of the  scribe.

– The Sphinges.

– King Narmer unites Upper/Lower Egypt (3100 B.C).- Ramses II battles the Hittites 1274 B.C.-  Persian domination of Egypt.1085-333: Persian domination of Egypt.-  The domain of Egypt under the Greek and the Roman.-  Cleopatra dies 30B.C.


Greek and Hellenistic 850 –31 B.C.

–  Greek dealism of balance, perfect proportions and mathematical measures applied to  all manifestation of art.

Representation of an idilic art oriented to be decorative an highlighting the beauty of the forms.

–   Architectural orders (Doric, Ionic,   Corinthian)

–    Great  Pottery, red ceramic, black figure ceramic.

–  Construction of the   Parthenon.

–  The Korai and the Kouroi archaic sculpture.

– Masters sculptures artist individually highlight like Myron, Phidias, Polycleitus, Praxiteles,   scopas, Lisipo.

– The Athena Farnese.

– Athens defeats Persia at Marathon 490 B.C.- Peloponnesian Wars (431–404) B.C.

– Alexander the Grate’s conquests Greece 336 -323 B.C

– Hellenistic   Period: 4th century (B.C)   from the reign of Alexander the great (336-323 BC) until the conquest of Greece by Rome, in the middle of the second century B.C).

Roman   500 B.C–  476 A.D)

   –  Roman realism: practical and utilitarian very down to earth.-   Introduction of new techniques in Art, but still with Greek influences.-   Art to the services of the propaganda of the Roman’s Empire power.

–  It addresses both the idealism and realism in the art.

–  Central themes in Roman sculpture are portraits.

–   Mayor accomplishments in architecture

–  Erotic & sensual content in painting.

–  Anonymous Illusionist or stages painting.

–  Augustus of Primaporta.-  Roma’s Coliseums.

–  Trajan’s Column.

–   The Discobolo of Myron.

–   Caracalla Thermals’.

–   Caracalla Mosaics.

–   Constantine Emperor Sculpture.

–   City of Pompeii & Herculaneum paint’s

Julius Caesar is assassinated 44 B.C.

Augustus proclaimed Emperor 27 B.C.

Diocletian   splits Empire 292 A.D.

Rome falls 476 A.D.

Emperor Constantine adopted Christianisms.


India Culture:

–  Dynamic colorful multi-ethnic   and multicultural features.-             Buddhism temples carving in the mountains.-

Serene, meditative & solemner art in Buddhism &   Jainism.

–  Erotic & symbolisms in Hinduism sculpture.

– Sensuality, dramatics, movement & symbolisms in Hinduism   painting.

– Splendor in jewelry and textiles.

– Nature & their polytheist religious pantheon are the   main elements of representation in their art.

– Polychrome sculptures.

– Taj Majal.

– Alora Cave.

– Khajuraho Temple.

– Templo Jaina de Vimala Vasahi en el monte Abu.

– Ajanta Budhist Temple. Maharastra.

– The Mahabharata and the Ramayana, two major Sanskrit epics manuscripts of ancient Indiath India region Temples.

–  Dravidians develop advances urbanisms & culture.

–  The Brahmanism prosperous social cast & religious made an important statement in India.

–   The Buddhism & Jainism prosper.

–   The Hinduism modify the ancestor polytheist Brahmanism   pantheon.

–   Persia Invade India been the last conquest by the Mughal very important for the art in India.

–   The England Indian’s Company establishes a colony   beginning from the littorals of India and then extended.

Chinese, and   Japanese 653 B.C–1900 A.D. – Serene, meditative art.- Arts of the Floating World.

– Represent idealist lanscape with realistic detail.

– Homenage to nature and to the lanscaping in painting.

– After a colourful period in painting this one is reduced to duo tones color representation in furthers periods.

– Important ceramic production using porcelain made with caolin.

– Detailed painting in paper, wood and fabrics.

– Abundant use of caligraphy in paints been as much important as the paint itself.

– Magnificent works in ivory amd jade.

– Architecture addresed to practical use not ornamental and intedrated to the lanscape around the building. Wooden structure with repetitive plant.

– Wide representation of Budda images with particular Asiatic feature and postures.

 Painters-            Gu Kaizhi.-

–             Li Cheng.

–             Guo Xi.

–              Hokusai.

–              Hiroshige.

Birth   of Buddha 563 B.C;Silk Road opens (1st century B.C.

Buddhism spreads to China 1st–2nd centuries A.D and Japan 5th century A.D

Byzantine and Islamic 476–1453 A.D

– The symbolic character of the works becomes more important   over even its expression and aesthetic, responding to the theology and   ecclesiastical power representation.– They do not imitate the image of   the man and the nature in details, they made instead a rational representation of the concept of those images.-

– Rich materials in Byzantine.Mosaic’s, with abundance in the use of gold. (Glowing sensation).

–             Heavenly Byzantine mosaics.-             Islamic architecture and amazing maze-like design.-             Mural Painting.-             Wood & Ivory diptychs.-             Hagia Sophia Cathedral.

–             San Vitale of Ravenna

–             Andrei Rublev.

–             Mosque of Córdoba.

–             Tthe Alhambra in Spain.

–      Justinian partly restores Western Roman Empire (533– 562). A.D.

–      Iconoclast controversy 726– 843 A.D.

–      Birth of Islam 610 A.D.

–       Muslim Conquests 632–732 A.D.

8 Responses to Art Periods and Movements. Summary.Table 1

  1. Thank you Nicole for your Comment means a lot to me receive your feed back. Iam so glad that the table was useful to you.
    Please visit any time again.

  2. Dear Elena,

    Thank you so much for this great timetable! It’s so useful for my art history classes in Amsterdam.

    Many greetings Nicole

  3. Thank you Amanda for your comment. I try my best to put the information as didactic as possible.

  4. Hello Sauran:
    Thank you for visiting the blog and comment. I am glad you find the information helpful.

    Merhaba Sauran:
    Blogu ziyaret ettiğiniz ve yorum yazdığınız için teşekkür ederiz. Bilgileri yararlı bulduğuna sevindim.

  5. Şükran Savuran says:

    Bilgileriniz için teşekkür ederim. Çok yararlı ve yardımcı .

  6. amanda thompson says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about this fascinating subject. You wrote this in a way that covers a lengthy time period in a way that summarizes it and makes sense. I think people (including myself) forget how many contributions and techniques were developed thousands of years ago.

  7. Hello Ahmed my name is Elena Victorero I am the owner and writer of this website. All the articles included this one have been written by me. English is not my first language I normally write the articles in Spanish first and them using translations tools as Google translate o Microsoft translate I put the information available in English in this website, that way can be found in both language. I am aware the translation need still a lot of work I am in the process to revise all the articles.

  8. I would like to know the author of this article please.